CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Big changes are ahead for the GED test in Missouri. This is the last year you can earn your high school equivalency certificate before a tougher, more expensive test comes out.
"It can't hurt you're going to better yourself," said Margaret Serrano, a student who started her GED courses last year.
Serrano says with the changes ahead, she's thankful she started early.
"Oh it's easy and we get help," said Serrano.
Not only is the test said to be more costly, but also changing to a computer based program.
"The computer scares me," said Serrano. "Another reason I'm glad I'll be done this year!"
Becky Atwood, Coordinator of Adult Education and Literacy, says it's important people like Serrano who are in the process of completing their GED and others who want to get started are aware in 2014, nothing will be the same.
"Everything will change," said Atwood. "So, the sooner the better."
Atwood says as of December 31, cost is slated to go up to $140.00 from $40.
She says the material will likely be more difficult and the exact new format has not been released. Plus any sections students have not completed by the end of the year will be invalid. You'd have to start all over.
"We feel this is a great opportunity for people to finish what they started," said Atwood.
If you get started now, teachers like Mandy Retherford say you've got plenty of time.
"You have all year. You're allowed to take the test three times in one year. It's only January, but you need to start now," said Retherford.
Atwood recommends getting started as soon as possible, if you wait until after the Summer it may take too long to complete the courses.
Atwood wants students to know it's not just the course work. The final exam must also be taken at the Southeast Missouri State University testing center before end of the year.
"The last version of the GED was in 2002 so it obviously needed to be updated," said Atwood.
Call the Adult Education Center at 573-334-3669 for more information, questions, or to enroll.
Some fast track programs can be completed in just a couple of month. Each student is assessed individually.
Besides the Cape Girardeau campus, they also have sites in Marble Hill and Perryville.